Written by Sophia Smith
Green fashion is on the up and it is about time. When it comes to the statistics regarding how much food we waste as a species every year, people are often outraged. However, when it comes to the statistics of how much we waste in regards to fashion, most of us remain uninformed and unconcerned. In the USA alone, approximately five million kilos (11 million pounds) of textile waste is created every single year. Five million kilos just in the USA. And in most cases, this five million kilos ends up in landfill as the fashion industry continues to treat earths resources as if they are inexhaustible.
In regards to fashion, studies have shown that the concepts of fair trade, eco-fashion, ethical, recycled and reused clothing are not fully understood by mainstream consumers yet. However, as more people become increasingly aware of the issues and the waste that the fashion industry is producing every single day, more of us are turning to ethical and fair trade clothing to fill our wardrobes and there are now specific campaigns that encourage consumers to question the origin of the garments they have bought.
In addition to successful online hashtag campaigns, there are also initiatives such as Slavery Footprint that help individuals understand their own connection to some of the fashion industries darkest secrets such as modern-day slavery by revealing the unseen processes of making certain products. When people are exposed to this, consumers often realise they have a chance to make a difference with their purchases, even when it comes to something as simple as buying a t-shirt. Despite greener and kinder fashion alternatives still being marginalised by big fashion houses, we are continuing to see an increased demand for ethical clothing around the world.
Are you thinking of greening up your wardrobe? Here are some great reasons for why you should opt for ethical and eco-fashion and some brands you can check out in the process.
Tackling burning issues…
Child labour, modern-day slavery and mistreated workers from developing countries such as Uzbekistan, Bangladesh and Cambodia are the burning issues the fashion world has to face and fair trade brands are the first in line to fight these problems. For example, brands like Krochet Kids focus on empowering women from poverty regions such as Uganda and Peru through a special model, which provides them with jobs, education and mentorship support for future planning of their careers. Krochet Kids offers a wide range of products manufactured by artisans in developing countries such as clothing, beautifully designed bags and other fashion accessories.
Making it personal…
There are a whole handful of incredible brands that do their part in the fashion world and try to make amends for the ‘crimes’ of others. Fair Trade Winds are a family business that brought back a kind face to the fashion world. They perceive artisans and customers as part of their big family while focusing on the story of each and every one of their products. Fair Trade Winds believes that small businesses represent the true heartbeats of communities and they work on empowering women, preventing human trafficking and enabling children to preserve their rights for education and a careless childhood. Fair Trade Winds offer a wide range of fair trade products such as basics, formal and casual wear as well as bags and accessories.
Fashionable organic materials…
Green fashion means using organic textiles and sustainable materials (such as recycled bottles) with the lowest possible damage to the environment. Consumers are not very versed when it comes to eco-fashion and most people associate organic and recycled materials with fashion that lacks glamour and is limited by materials such as cotton and linen. However, this could not be any further from the truth with so many different brands offering products using incredible and revolutionary organic materials. Check out brands like Fibre Athletics for sportswear, Prana for colourful casual clothing and yoga attire, Indigenous for beautiful casual and more formal monochromatic and patterned dresses, amazing swimsuits and underwear from Naja and Bhumi Organic Cotton for relaxed clothing and luxe bed linen.
It is not as expensive as you think…
Fair trade and eco-fashion can at times be slightly more expensive than other alternatives, however in order to ensure respectful manufacturing processes and dignity for artisans they need to be. In saying that, do not automatically assume that conscious purchases will strip you of all your hard-earned cash. In some cases, they are often cheaper and spending a few extra dollars here and there and ensure you are getting a fair trade and eco-friendly item is worth every cent.
Second-hand is more affordable…
Did you know that every year 80 billion new pieces of clothing are purchased by people all over the world? Second-hand shops contribute to a more responsible and sustainable fashion world by offering used (and sometimes still new) fashion items at a much more affordable rate. It is a misconception that only cheap-looking garments can be bought at op shops as more often than not if you know where to look you can find fantastic designer pieces at a fraction of the cost. At the same time, second-hand stores are often a great place for plus-size women to find new pieces that are both fashionable and comfortable. Keeping clothing and accessories out of landfill whilst topping up your wardrobe with fashionable items at discounted prices is the perfect way to have a more sustainable impact on the environment.
Sophia Smith is Australian based beauty, fashion and lifestyle blogger. She is also very passionate about organic skincare and healthy food choices. Sophia writes mostly on beauty and fashion related topics, mainly through blogs and articles.